The archive and library
Research is an important part of the memorial's work and for this reason a specialist library and archive which can be used in conjunction with the museum's educational project work is essential. The archive is continually extended and contains documents from prisoner organisations and the memorial as well as collections that describe the history of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After advance notice has been given, these collections can be used by visitors and for research purposes.
The library's reading room contains specialist magazines and literature
about National Socialism, concentration camps and post Second World War
history. Photos and audio-visual materials are also available if advance
notice has been given to the archive's staff. The deposit library, archive
and standard library are all housed in an historical building on the site of
the industrial yard near to the western wall of the camp.
Online Application forms
library content list
The history and aims of the archive
An archive was first opened in Sachsenhausen national memorial in 1976, although it was not open to the public. After the founding of the Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten in 1993 the archive and library was opened to researchers and the public in line with the aim of the Stiftung to make Sachsenhausen an open place of learning. In the beginning of 2000 Sachsenhausen's archive became a public archive according to county law (§2 Paragraph 8).
The archive contains the administrative documents of the memorial and museum and its supporting institutes as well as collections describing the history of the National Socialist concentration camp Oranienburg (1933 - 1934), Sachsenhausen (1936 - 1945) and the Soviet special camp Nr.1 / Nr.7 (1945 - 1950). The files of Sachsenhausen's command structure taken from national and international archives are of special importance, unfortunately many of the documents have only survived as fragments. These collections are complemented by those of the 'Lagerarbeitsgemeinschaft Sachsenhausen', the 'Komitees der Antifaschistischen Widerstandskämpfer der DDR' as well as individuals whose lives have been connected to Sachsenhausen in some form.
The collections are searchable with an electronic database (EFB), as hard copy (FB) and as part of a card system. A large number of the files containing personal information are included in the database (DB). The archive shelves contain 280 metres of material (AE) - not including the administrative files from Sachsenhausen memorial and museum (GMS) or the Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten (SBG) which will also eventually form part of the archive.
Using the archive
Anyone wanting to use the archive should apply in writing stating their theme, reason and where applicable the person or organisation for which they are working. After receiving written permission from the archive's director of research, an appointment can be made with the archive's staff (telephone: 03301 200 300). The archive is open Tuesday - Friday from 9:00 until 16:30.
Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen
Online Application formsApplication form to use the archive
Application form concerning ex-prisoners from Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Application form concerning ex-prisoners from the Soviet special camp in Sachsenhausen
Application form concerning members of the SS in Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Fees are regulated by the Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten and apply for large written applications as well as research and the retrieval of archived items, unless the user has been exempted from the payment of fees. Due to the small number of staff the number of written research requests processed without charge in one calendar year has been restricted to seven concerning specific persons and three relating to any other subject.
For the protection of privacy and contractual obligations there are
a number of collections from which copies can not be made and others
where copies can only be made under special circumstances. The maximum
number of copies that can be ordered at any one visit is 200. Copies
cost €0,35 with a 50% discount for students and those working on their
Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum is conceived as an "open learning centre". It therefore offers a modern public library with a special thematic focus, accessible to all visitors and users. The library currently consists of approximately 19,500 media items in the collection fields of
The library is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. The main collections are available to all visitors and users; special permission is only necessary for particular collections such as National Socialist originals. As the library is a reference library, lending out is not possible.
The list of literature contains a choice of literature on our fields of collection.
The new acquisitions offer an overview of current additions from the last months.